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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Jun 18, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2010 Ford Mustang

Highest ranked midsize sporty car: Mustang U.S. Auto Quality Beats Imports in JD Power Initial Quality Study For the first time in its 24 year history, U.S. automakers beat out imports in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study. Much of the credit goes to significant improvements in product offerings from Ford Motor Company and General Motors. From 1998 to 2006, new-vehicle quality improved at an average of 6 percent per year, going from 176 PP100 in 1998 to 109 PP100 in 2006. Since 2006, new-vehicle quality, while still continuing to improve, has leveled off a bit, improving at a 3 percent annual rate, on average, during the last four years. For 2010, the industry average for initial quality is 109 PP100—a mere one PP100 higher (lower PP100 equals higher initial quality) than in 2009. However, initial quality for domestic brands as a whole has improved by 4 PP100 in 2010 to an average of 108 PP100—slightly better than the initial quality of import brands, which averages 109 PP100 in 2010. 2010 Initial Quality Study Highest Rated Trucks and SUVs “Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving upon initial quality, particularly since 2007,” said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. “This may mark a key turning point for U.S. brands as they try to win the battle against negative perceptions of their quality. However, there is still a long road ahead, and domestic manufacturers need to prove that they can consistently produce higher quality vehicles than import brands. In addition, domestics need to focus their efforts on convincing consumers—particularly younger buyers—that the quality of domestic brands rivals, if not surpasses, that of imports.” J.D. Power and Associates first published the Initial Quality Study in 1987. The study was designed as an industry quality benchmark to help vehicle manufacturers identify and correct specific problems with their new car and truck models. Over the years, however, the study—and the publicly reported results—have had a dramatic impact on improving new-vehicle quality. While the study continues to be widely used by automakers around the world today, the media and consumers pay close attention to the results as well. Study results are tabulated using a “problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)” metric, where a lower PP100 indicates higher initial quality. Awards are given to the top-performing model in each segment with the lowest PP100, as well as for the assembly plant that produces the vehicles with the fewest number of problems (plant awards are based on defects and malfunctions only and not design quality). More information about the survey is located

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